Relationship building is one of the most important parts of getting a job done. Many people have a lot of knowledge and skill, but if you do not build a relationship you could lose their valuable insights.
On the road relationship building is even more crucial. You have a limited time with which to build a working relationship. So be proactive about building a positive relationship.
Take advantage of time away from the office. Not all relationships are built over two computer screens and piles of paper. Use your relaxing time to get to know the person. Ask them a question or two about what they like in life and you will have all toe conversation you what.
Most business people take their contact to a bar or club. But you must be sensitive to cultural and religious taboos. It may seem to be just the place for you to unwind. But your must put your feeling on hold and do what is best for your relationship.
Drinking can be a hot button. Some cultures don’t prefer to drink like solders or Americans. Many religions have strict laws about temperance. So be careful not to offend. The best policy is to simply ask.
If may be more comfortable virtual roundtables for you to take your contact out to a fancy restaurant. This generally works well. But occasionally you find yourself the next table over from some loud mouth jerk who is making rude comments. This does not help you discuss sensitive issues.
Remember you can always take them home to wife’s dinner. The challenge here is to keep it professional. You want to build a friendship not become another jerk in the eyes of your contact.
Make sure in any case that you talk about the menu. If your friend does not like salad, don’t order one for him. Talking about things like this go a long way to building a trust filled relationship.